Like every summer in the past few years, Nacho left aside the offers which came his way to instead stay at Real Madrid, as he once again decided to stay at home.
The product of the Real Madrid youth academy knew the situation that he would face, having barely played last season, but he didn’t mind.
“I hoped to one day play one match for Real Madrid and I’ve played nearly 200, I’m happy, I’m where I want to be,” he explained in Kiev.
“I didn’t hope for more, I’m fighting for the club I dreamt of and where I want to be, I wouldn’t change it for anything.
“Every summer, offers come, but I repeat that I’m happy, of course I’d like to have played more, it’s how it is, but I dreamt of playing for this team.”
The truth is that Nacho has now played more minutes than last season, with 685 in 10 games, compared to 673 in just eight fixtures in 2019/20.
Despite having been injured before, he’s started five games in a row while Sergio Ramos has been out injured.
It’s one of his greatest runs of consistency, particularly in central defence, comparing to 2016/17 when Raphael Varane was injured and Zinedine Zidane relied on Nacho in the crucial month of April as Real Madrid won LaLiga Santander and the Champions League.
Celebrating his 31st birthday in January, the chances of Nacho ending his career at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu are growing by the day, even as more offers come in for his services.
Nacho clearly has stepped ahead of Eder Militao in the ranking, despite the Brazilian’s 50 million euro arrival seeming destined to push him towards the exit.
A year and a half later, Nacho is the third choice central defender, with the team having lost only four of the 18 games played with Nacho since Militao arrived, compared to seven from 23 for the new signing.
Who are Real Madrid’s one club men?
With a contract until 2022, it will come to an end at the age of 33 and it seems reasonable to suggest that Nacho could end his career as a one club man, having joined Real Madrid in 2001.
He was given his debut by Jose Mourinho on April 23, 2011, and nearly 10 years later, he’s won 16 titles including four Champions League trophies.
Only two men have ever achieved the feat of spending their whole career at Real Madrid: Manolo Sanchis and Chendo.
Others who came close include Jose Antonio Camacho, who spent almost his entire career with the club, but spent four games with Albacete before joining Castilla as an 18-year-old prodigy.
Jose Maria Zarraga was a similar case, playing for Arenas de Guecho, his hometown club in Tercera Division.
Others to paly closer for home include Ramon Grosso and Santiago Bernabeu, two iconic players who both spent time on loan at Atletico Madrid despite their roots in the white side of the capital.